New Hamas chief makes 1st public appearance in native Gaza

France-Election-2-8

New Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh pledged support for hunger-striking Palestinian prisoners on Monday in his first comments since being elected as head of the terrorist group that runs the Gaza Strip.

Marine Le Pen, his far-right opponent in the runoff, quickly called the 39-year-old Macron to concede after voters rejected her "French-first" nationalism by a large margin.

Netanyahu argued that Hamas is still an organization that backs terrorism, and has no interest in peace with Israel.

Speaking at his weekly Cabinet meeting, Netanyahu said President Trump's upcoming visit to Israel reflects the strong bond between the two nations.

According to the Protocol on Economic Relations, a.k.a. the Paris Protocol, signed by Israel and the PLO in April 1994, Israel collects and transfers to the Palestinian Authority the import taxes on goods that were shipped there, and the income taxes collected from PA residents employed in Israel and the Israeli settlements.

Marwan's wife, Lawyer Fadwa Barghouthi, stated that Israeli is so desperate in its attempts to break the hunger strike, and that the fact that Israeli officials have resorted to using a fabricated video shows how desperate Israel is, and how low its leaders can get in facing the strong will and determination of the hunger striking detainees. Food was also hidden in other participating prisoners' cell but many resisted the temptation, the official said.

The hunger strike has ended its third week, with more than 1500 Palestinian prisoners entering the risky zone of going more than 21 days without food.

The Haniyeh administration resigned in 2014, as part of a deal with Fatah to set up a transitional government for both the West Bank and Gaza that was to pave the way for national elections. These are the two organizations that govern Palestinians, and they have been at odds with each other ever since Hamas gained control of Gaza in 2007.

Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum confirmed on Saturday that Mr Haniya had been selected as the politburo chief. Abbas dismissed Haniyeh in June 2007, after the Hamas takeover of Gaza.

Founded in the wake of the 1979 Islamic revolution in Iran, a close ally, Islamic Jihad is the second force in the Gaza Strip and focused entirely on the armed struggle.

Mr Haniya is seen as a pragmatist who will try to ease Hamas's worldwide isolation.

However, the new policy document still calls for the destruction of Israel, which has led Israeli officials to question the sincerity of the changes.

Hamas has sharply criticized Abbas' political program, which rests on setting up a Palestinian state in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem, lands Israel captured in the 1967 Mideast War.

"Under its new leadership, the movement must continue and intensify its efforts to strengthen internal Palestinian relations ... strengthen the steadfastness of our people, and mobilize Arab, Islamic and global powers to stand by the Palestinian people", said Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum in a statement announcing Haniyeh's selection. Hamas, especially much of its leadership in Gaza, definitely advocates violence against Israeli Jews and Israel.

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